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Labour’s waiting list deception gets worse

Paul Hutchison - National Party Health Spokesman

7 April 2005

Labour’s waiting list deception gets worse

Despite spending more than $3 billion extra on health since 1999, Labour’s health record is getting worse, says National’s Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

Health and Independence Reports show that in 1999/2000 there were 160,574 public-funded surgical inpatient discharges, and in 2002/2003 that number had fallen to 157,754.

Recent reports say that 2000 patients are being removed from the surgical waiting list at Counties-Manukau, and being sent back to their GP’s.

“There they wait, often in pain, often losing their sight, with no certainty they will ever be treated,” says Dr Hutchison.

“It is of profound concern that once again Labour has presided over another 2000 patients being sent back to their doctors.”

In 2003, 25,000 patients across New Zealand were taken off surgical waiting lists and sent back to their doctors.

“Counties-Manukau is the tip of the iceberg. Around the country the story is the same,” says Dr Hutchison.

“Helen Clark was repeatedly quoted during the 90s as saying that Labour would ‘blitz’ hospital waiting lists.

“Labour has deceived New Zealanders with the manipulation of hospital waiting lists – if they get too long, Labour’s answer is to literally ‘blitz’ them, by cutting people off altogether,” says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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